A US court has ordered Facebook to pay $500 million after a jury found that it had unlawfully used another company’s virtual reality technology.
The jury found that Oculus had used technology that was owned by the video game developer ZeniMax.
According to Polygon the $500m is split as follows: Oculus will pay $200m for breaking a non-disclosure agreement and $50m for copyright infringement.
Oculus and company founder Palmer Luckey have both been ordered to pay $50m for false designation while Oculus CEO Brenden Iribe has been ordered to pay a hefty $150m.
This will be a considerable blow for Facebook which bought the VR company Oculus for $2bn in 2014.
Essentially the entire argument boils down to a period of Oculus’ life where it hired the renowned games programmer John Carmack from ZeniMax.
ZeniMax claimed that before he left Carmack copied over vital pieces of technology that have since allowed Oculus and Luckey to perfect their virtual reality headset into the form that we see today.
Oculus, Luckey and Carmack have all denied this claim. Indeed the jury ruled that none of the defendants had misappropriated the technology from ZeniMax.
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